Now is the Time to Get the American Airlines Credit Cards

American Airlines is devaluing its award chart on March 22, 2016. American Airlines miles are worth more now than they will be then (or at any other point in the future.) Now is the time to get the American Airlines personal and business credit cards to use them for travel in 2016 or 2017 on the current award chart.

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back.

Six Experts Predicted the DevAAluation in February. How Did We Do?

We have all known an American Airlines award chart devaluation was coming for a long time, since United and Delta devalued in 2014.

Massive DevAAluation of American Airlines Chart March 22, 2016

American Airlines has announced a massive devAAluation of its award chart for awards booked on or after March 22, 2016. (It also announced negative changes to status and revenue-based award mile-earning on paid flights.)

The only two things I like about the announcement are that a few prices go down slightly and that we were given solid notice. You have just over four months to book awards on the current American Airlines award chart.

Negative Changes to 2016 American Airlines Status Announced

Today American Airlines announced mostly negative changes for earning status in 2016 for 2017. (It also announced negative changes to earning award miles on paid flights and to its award chart.) The five big changes to status earning:
1. No More Elite Qualifying Points
There used to be three ways to earn status: elite qualifying points (EQP), elite qualifying miles (EQM), segments. In 2016, there will be two, with EQP getting the axe.

The number of elite qualifying miles and segments needed to qualify have not changed.

American Airlines Moves to Revenue-Based Mileage Earning in Second Half of 2016

Starting in the "second half of 2016," you will earn award miles on American Airlines tickets according to the cost of the ticket instead of the distance flown.

5 miles/U.S. dollar – AAdvantage member
7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold
8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum
11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum

Delta announced a nearly identical move in February 2014, and United copied Delta in June 2014. Both changes are already in effect, so American is just playing catch up (catch down?) here.

ANA Devalues Its Award Chart, Effective October 15, 2015

ANA is devaluing its award charts for bookings made October 15, 2015 or later. This is all the notice they've given. (Hat tip @saianel on Twitter.) To beat the devaluation, book by October 14 for travel through mid-September 2016.

This devaluation affects you because you "have" ANA miles in the form of Membership Rewards and SPG Starpoints, both of which can be transferred to ANA miles.

Membership Rewards Transfers to Avios Take 20% Hit On Thursday October 1

Effective this Thursday, October 1, 2015, 250 Membership Rewards will transfer to 200 British Airways or Iberia Avios. That's a 20% reduction of the current 1,000 Membership Rewards to 1,000 Avios transfers.

Source: Travel with Grant

This is a huge blow to Membership Rewards. It still has great 1:1 transfer partners like Delta, ANA, Aeroplan, and Singapore, but this majorly hurts the value of its best oneworld transfer partner.

In the past we've seen transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to Avios like this year's 40% bonus.

Aeroplan Devalues Award Chart Effective December 2015

Aeroplan, the frequent flyer program of Air Canada is devaluing its award chart, effective for awards booked December 15, 2015 and later.

This is one of those devaluations that I consider almost good news because we are getting three months' notice, the changes are minor, and one big improvement was made.

Americans should pay attention to Aeroplan miles because Aeroplan is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and SPG Starpoints, has a fair award chart with a few gems, and doesn't impose fuel surcharges on many Star Alliance partners' award flights like United, Air China, Turkish, and SAS.

Great Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Award Space Next May, June 2016

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Award Space is widely available for two passengers on several routes to London in May and June 2016.

This is an excellent use of Delta SkyMiles because these awards cost 62,500 SkyMiles each way per person, despite Delta's big devaluation last week. The award space is also an excellent use of ThankYou Points transferred to Virgin Atlantic miles during the current 25% transfer bonus.

Delta Goes Closer to Revenue Based Awards Starting Today

Delta has introduced revenue-based awards today and higher priced upgrades for travel beyond June 1, 2016. You can currently book award travel and upgrades through June 9, 2016.

Delta's Statement
Here's what Delta says about the changes:
We know your miles are important, so we want to provide the most notice possible regarding Award price changes. For travel on or after June 1, 2016, the number of miles needed will change based on destination, demand and other considerations. But most Award prices will remain unchanged.